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Anti-GMO bill puts Connecticut in Scientifically Illiterate Hall of Shame

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Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy made a ceremonial appearance yesterday at Fairfield’s Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe, a juice bar that sells “cleanses,” for which there is no scientific evidence, in order to celebrate the signing of Connecticut’s bill that could eventually require the labeling of foods containing GMO ingredients, a step for which there is no scientific evidence.

The bill could take effect if 4 neightboring states with a total population of 20 million people also adopt similar regulations.

For this ridiculous and damaging bill, the Progressive Contrarian, Bernie Mooney, added Connecticut to the Scientifically Illiterate Hall of Shame. The policy of the FDA has for years been that labels are only added to food when it is substantially different from conventional foodstuffs and is in some way dangerous.

This is, of course, not the case here. There is simply no scientific evidence that crops bred by genetic modification are in any way different or dangerous. Every major scientific organization world wide, including the AAAS, AMA, and WHO has examined the science and concluded that GM crops pose no harm.

Recently, a team of Italian scientists, led by Alesandro Nicolia conducted a systematic review of scientific research on GMO crops, coming up with 1783 research papers, reviews and relevant opinions.

Nicolia's team couldn't find a single credible example demonstrating that GM foods engender detrimental effects in those that consume them.

You can read the complete paper here.

In addition, publications as diverse as Scientific American and the Wall Street Journal have argued that GM labeling is a very foolish idea.

In the Progressive Contrarian column cited above, Mooney excoriates both Connecticut and Rep. Elaine O’Brien who refused to add any scientists to the witnesses testifying before the legislature when he contacted her. He also criticized Connecticut State Representatives, John Hampton and Phil Miller for holding a public GMO forum on 11/14/13 which included Holistic Health Counselor Elaine Titus and Beth Beisel, from GMO Free CT, and a registered dietitian and no scientists.

We contacted Malloy’s office this summer when the bill was under consideration and Hampton’s office this fall regarding their forum, but received no replies.

The opposition to GMO crops has been ginned up by the $67 billion organic food industry who does not want any competition from foods which are just as healthy and which do not command their artificial price premium, Henry Miller, writing in Forbes, has calculated that that organic food industry is spending $2.5 billion a year to oppose GMO crops.

The idea that consumers have a “right to know” obscure and irrelevant information about how foods are bred has been dismissed in court already in a Vermont case regarding labeling of milk.

Again, quoting Miller’s column, the court said

We are aware of no case in which consumer interest alone was sufficient to justify requiring a product’s manufacturers to publish the functional equivalent of a warning about a production method that has no discernible impact on a final product. … Absent some indication that this information bears on a reasonable concern for human health or safety or some other sufficiently substantial governmental concern, the manufacturers cannot be compelled to disclose it,” because it would violate constitutional guarantees of commercial free speech. “Were consumer interest alone sufficient,” said the court, “there is no end to the information that states could require manufacturers to disclose about their production methods.”

The only purpose of this law is to stigmatize crops bred by transgenic technologies, increasing the costs to both farmers and consumers, and all of the leading GM political opponents have said that their ultimate objective is to ban these beneficial crops.

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